WHAT IS VALENTINE?
Love is Christian. Christian is love. Valentine is an English word that mean ‘an expression of love, especially romantic love, usually in the form of greeting card, gift, or message given to a person the object of affection, especially on February 14th. Valentine is defined in terms of the gift items affectionately exchanged while Valentine’s day is further defined as a day for the exchange of valentines and other tokens of affection.
The unanswered questions in the heart of many Christians leaders has been on the type of love that Valentine’s day portrays: does Valentine’s day love speak of the love in 2cor 13. The love that compelled our Lord to journey to the cross. The love as in jn10:11-18., Roms 5:5, 1jn 4:8; 5:3. The Love that is exercised through the divine will in deliberate choice and obedience to God’s commandment, made without assignable (selfish) cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself. Is this same with the Valentine’s love?
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON VALENTINE’S DAY?
Various views on Valentine’s day has been reconstrued on the range of the abnormal emphasis affected on the ‘gifts items’ and the unnecessary emphasis affected on the ‘romantic love’.
These perspectives are as follows;
- As the day intended to appreciate the special people in ones life, by having a reminder of how they have been loved and who has loved them. Including parents, grandparents, and showing how much they appreciate the love they’ve shared through laughter, gifts and spending time with themselves.
- As a day to to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to give gifts to them. Also, showing love to those who seem unlovable.
- As a day to express Romantic love with ones significant others. In the name to celebrating their relationship.
- As a day to share Christ’s love by using the opportunity to raise awareness on God’s love and the command He has given us to show love to others.
WHERE DID VALENTINE’S DAY COME FROM?
There are many rendition on the “origins” of Valentine’s Day as there are numbers of historians attempting to describe it. As expected, most have something to do with pagan ritual (just like most holidays—from Christmas to Mother’s Day—has something to do with pagan ritual). Most popular among these renditions are as follows;
- The saint Valentine’s school of thought: Valentine’s day is traced to be rooted from an ancient Roman festival. It is originally known as Lupercalia which is celebrated every February 14. Lupercalia is celebrated to honor not God, but pagan gods namely Lupercus (god of fertility), Juno (goddess of marriage and women) and Pan (god of nature). Lupercalia is celebrated with pagan sex rituals. It is about eroticism, lust, and fertility. As early as the fourth B.C., young men seek their sexual partner during the Lupercalia festival. By a “love” lottery, young men would be able to win the companionship and sexual service of a woman until the next year’s drawing
- The saint Valentine’s school of thought: According to history, Roman emperor Claudius II imposed a ban on marriages because too many young men were dodging the draft by getting married (only single men had to enter the army). A Christian priest named Valentinus ignored the ban and performed secret marriages. He was caught, imprisoned and sentenced to death. While awaiting execution, young lovers visited him with notes about how much better love is than war.
- The execution occurred in 269 CE on February 14th, the Roman day dedicated to celebrating love and fertility. After a couple of centuries Emperor Gelasius declared it a holy day in honor of Valentinus instead of the pagan god Lupercus. This allowed Christianity to take over some of the celebrations of love and fertility which had previously occurred in the context of paganism.
- This famous saint, an Italian doctor who later became a priest, inspired the creation of the holiday of Valentine’s Day. He was sent to jail for performing weddings for couples during a time when new marriages were outlawed in the ancient Rome. Before he was killed for refusing to renounce his faith, he sent a loving note to a blind child he had been helping to teach, the daughter of his jailer, who history holds that he later cured her blindness and that note eventually led to the tradition of sending Valentine’s cards.
WHERE DID WE START GETTING IT WRONG?
The misunderstanding in the concept of Valentine follows from the distorted views on the concept of love. Even with our increase in knowledge we still have a distorted approach to love in Christianity!
There’s a cutting edge between Valentine’s practice and Christian love virtues. Most times Christian leaders adopt a conservative stance in attempts not to conform with the world. And arguing that the similititude in the practices of the world with the Christian virtues is but the devils game tactics in bringing pollution to the Christian practices. Because the devil is known for deception; the devil has a way of making a fake copy of every concept about God and Godliness. Much so had he propagated a false approach to love, an approach that is based on feelings, lust, emotions, neurochemically mediated behaviors, selfish desires, and without any spiritual basis. So, the Christian leaders always believed there should be a benchmark and a deliberate watch on the landmarks.
Christians started getting it wrong when in our attempts to love we ends up copying what the world does in their love expression.
WHAT SHOULD THE CHRISTIAN’S DO?
The expression of love cannot be tagged to one day. Married couples or those who are in a relationship can show their love and concern every day and not wait for Valentine’s Day. It is also needful to put to check the act of waiting to receive a gift on Valentine’s day to feel LOVED.
But generally, Christians should not be abstaining from love expression, be it Valentine’s day or not, for love is shown abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit-we are love. Rather, Christians should cautiously define what love ought to be. Christians should stick to the BIBLE definition of love. Thereby, salting the world; making them learn love from US. Christians should use Valentine’s day to raise awareness on the unfailing love of God. And raise awareness on the truth definition of love as in 2cor13.
Christians are called to love, not to lust. There is no doubt that the origin of Valentine’s Day involves strong infatuation and lust rather than genuine love. We are not available as lovers-the type that Valentine’s day portrays, we are to be fully wrapped in love with the HOLYGHOST(that KOINONIA).
He that is pursing God does not pursue lovers.
Am particularly using lovers because love in its true sense is not a good feeling at all
It is such feelings as the journey to the cross or, 2cor13.
If it’s for love, it is what we owe all men 24/7.
We need friends not lovers!